Abstract Expressionism: A World Elsewhere


Hoisting their flag over the colonies, London-based Haunch of Venison’s new Rockefeller Center gallery gives us Yanks what-for with a crowded show of New York School behemoths. Included are a glowering plum-and-beige Rothko; a small, wonderfully fluid de Kooning; an oddball Pollock featuring paint-slathered pebbles; and a shape-shifting Gorky drawing that underscores why the other Abstract Expressionists so admired his work. This high-rise gallery space is as intricately subdivided as an upscale law firm’s—perhaps appropriate for a venue with the built-in conflict of interest of being owned by Christie’s auction house—and all of the work is on loan from collectors and museums. (“Nothing is for sale,” the gallery assistant incongruously informed me when I inquired about press materials.) Good-looking but gratuitous, this show is less about America’s most triumphal art movement than about money—old, new, and yet to be made.

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. Starts: Oct. 1. Continues through Nov. 12, 2008